Illuminate with Precision: Choosing the Right Light Distribution Pattern – CINOTON
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Choosing the Right Light Distribution Pattern

Choosing the Right Light Distribution Pattern

The brightness of the light and your budget are not the only considerations when determining a lighting solution for any space. You should also consider how the light will be distributed. 

Will it be distributed evenly on all sides? Or will the light project only towards the front with less light on the back? Does the light project more towards the sides with less light on the front and back? 

Whichever way the light is distributed, there should not be any dark spots in the area to ensure  uniform illumination. Thus, understanding the light distribution pattern gains a lot of importance as it helps you in selecting the right light that meets your requirement. 

What is light distribution pattern?

Light distribution pattern refers to how light is distributed from the fixture to the area around it. It refers to the light travel through the horizontal space and certain vertical angles. 

There are five categories in which light is distributed, ranging from 1 to V. While 1 provides a narrow light strip, V provides a broader one that covers all direction. 

In this article, we'll explore more about type IV and type V light distribution pattern and the key factors to consider when choosing between Type IV and Type V light distribution patterns.

Understanding Type IV and Type V Light Distribution

Before diving into the decision-making process, let's take a closer look at what Type IV and Type V light distribution patterns entail. 

Type IV Light Distribution

Type IV light distribution is one in which the light is cast 2.75 times wider than the height of the light fixture. The light is projected outwards in a rounded distribution pattern, with equal distribution towards the side. 

Such light will be lit more towards the front and only very little light falls towards the back. Because of this, this type of light distribution is also called forwarding throw. 

Type IV lights are mostly mounted on the wall as they do not cast any light on the back side. This type of lighting is mostly installed on the sides of parking areas and playgrounds. 

For type IV light distribution, the power requirement is more. Usually 100-400 watt LED lights are required to produce the desired result. 

Type V Light Distribution

Type V light distribution pattern distributes light in a V pattern. Thus, the light is distributed on all sides of the fixture in a circular and symmetrical pattern. Thus, it is also called omnidirectional fixtures.

Though the light is mostly distributed in a circular pattern, it can also appear in square shape.  

Type V light distribution is usually required in large areas like parking lot lighting, center of roadways and large spaces that require uniform light. It can also be used in the center of task areas where light is required in all directions. 

What are the factors to consider while choosing the right light distribution pattern?

1. Area Size and Shape

The first factor to consider is the area and shape of the space to be lit. Do you want illumination in a large space like a large parking lot? Then you should consider light that provides even distribution on all sides. Type V light distribution is best suited in such a situation. 

On the other hand, if you want a more concentrated and comparatively small area illumination, then you can go for type IV light distribution. But keep in mind that type IV provides illumination only towards the front and not back. 

2. Mounting Height

The mounting height of the lighting fixture should also be considered when deciding what type of light distribution pattern is required. 

For eg; if the lighting fixture is mounted at a height, then a wide beam angle is required to cover a large area. On the other hand, if the light fixture is fixed at a lower height then you need to go for a narrow distribution for glare control and prevent spillage of light. 

3. Lighting Requirements

The lighting requirements is another factor to consider. Are you considering installing light on the center of the road? Then you need uniform lighting in all directions. Then type V light distribution pattern is most preferred. 

Is the lighting requirement on the side of a parking space. Then only front light is required. In that canse you can opt for type IV light distribution pattern. 

4. Environmental factors

Environmental factors can also affect the way light is distributed.

In case of indoor lighting, obstacles or reflective surfaces can affect the way the light is distributed. 

In case of outdoor lighting, environmental factors like rain, and wind can affect the way the light is distributed. 

5. Energy efficiency

The energy efficiency of the light is another factor that decides which light distribution pattern to go for. LED lights offer superior lighting and are also energy efficient. Thus, by using LED light, you can considerably reduce the operational cost and, at the same time, get the lighting as per your requirement. 


Before lighting up any space, it is very important to consider the light distribution pattern. Do you want a wider illumination on the font and sides of the fixtures? Then you should go for type IV distribution pattern.

On the other hand, if you want the light to be illuminated uniformly on all the sides, then type V light distribution is preferable. Selecting the right light distribution pattern ensures that the space is lit uniformly as per your requirement. 

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